2021 BWP Fall Workshops

The Fall 2021 Black Writers Program includes 6 weeks of workshops, running from Monday, October 11 – Sunday, November 21, 2021. All BWP programming, including workshops, is free to attend.

For this cycle, spots will be selected by lottery. In the past, first come, first served privileged certain timezones and work schedules ahead of others. This time, after submitting your workshop sessions, we will select placements by lottery shortly after. Black Writers Program participants may attend an unlimited number of drop-in workshops—but are only allowed to sign up for one specialty workshop. You can rank your choices when you register.

Sign-ups for specialized BWP workshops are now closed. Visit us on Eventbrite to register for drop-in workshops or sign up for drop-in workshop and event updates at our newsletter here.

Want to learn more about the workshop leaders in our Fall 2021 Cycle? Visit the Workshop Leader Bio Page here.
 

Questions? Email bwp@nywriterscoalition.org.

BLACK WRITERS PROGRAM / DROP-IN WORKSHOPS led by Michele Gilliam

NYWC’s Drop-In Workshops are generative writing opportunities for participants who may not be able to commit to a longer-term experience. Sign-ups open on a week-by-week basis—and do not require attendance every week. Visit the Eventbrite page here to sign up.

During each workshop, the facilitator/teaching artist will provide a prompt, give participants a set amount of time to write, and then leave time to share.

*Mondays / 6-8 PM EDT
*Runs October 11 – November 15
*Each drop-in workshop will be capped at 12 participants.

WRITING FOR PERFORMANCE led by Ashley August

As Black writers, we often show up to the page—but leave some part of ourselves behind with the white gaze in mind. Honey, this workshop is not that. Spit from your gut. Let go of the parameters of academia. Feel fuller in your work. Write the prelude to your authentic self. Take up space like it’s your birthright! 

In this six-week constructive workshop, we will ingest and produce poems and creative works that are self-explorative. Thinking of “the personal” as our pipeline to “the political,” we’ll find out how to show up and present authentic work in all its fullness. We will construct pieces that acknowledge our fantastical, badass, and radical truths while discovering the individual ways each of us decides to share our creations with the communities and audiences we choose. 

This workshop will go beyond the page, including theatrical performance tips and tools as well as vocal exploration and preservation. Get excited to be imperfect and loud about our survival.

*Mondays / 6:30 – 8:30 PM EDT
*Runs October 11 – November 15
*This workshop will be capped at 10 participants.

CRAFTING THE STORY: Manuscript Critique led by Shanté Cozier

This workshop is designed for beginner to intermediate writers looking to generate new work and develop fiction projects (novels and short stories) that are already in progress. The first two weeks will be in the format of a traditional NYWC workshop: Facilitator Shante’ Cozier will present prompts, give a specific amount of time to write, and then the group will have the option to share their fresh writing. The subsequent four sessions will also begin with a brief prompt—but the majority of workshop time will be spent reviewing two participants’ drafts/manuscripts-in-progress (10 pages max).

Participants can look forward to leaving “Crafting the Story” having developed their skills at writing dialogue, creating dramatic scenes, expanding plot, and strengthening character development.

*Wednesdays / 5 – 7 PM EDT
*Runs October 13 – November 17
*This workshop will be capped at 8 participants.

STARTING POINTS: Writing for the Stage and Screen led by Calley Anderson

During the first four weeks of this workshop participants will learn about the basics of scriptwriting and begin an investigation into several critical concepts that will make their writing journey strong from the start. Each participant will pick a track (playwriting, screenwriting, or teleplay/TV writing) to focus on, and then complete assignments and readings from that perspective throughout the workshop. The last two weeks of “Starting Points” will culminate in a presentation and feedback session of the first few pages of participants’ scripts.

Participants can expect to leave this workshop with a synopsis and/or logline for their project; a first draft of the first five pages of that project; and a resource list for further study/reading/craft work.

*Wednesdays / 6 – 8 PM EDT
*Runs October 13 – November 17
*This workshop will be capped at 8 participants.

BLACK WRITERS PROGRAM CREATING COMMUNITY WORKSHOPS led by John Maney & Idrissa Simmonds-Nastili

Black Writers Program Creating Community Workshops are generative writing opportunities that allow participants to cultivate relationships with a leader and a consistent group of attendees. Here, you can write, discuss, and be part of a space tailored for Black writers from all genres, of all ages, genders, and levels of experience. 

As in our standard NYWC workshops, the teaching artist will provide a prompt, give participants a set amount of time to write, and then leave time to share.

*Group I: Thursdays / 3 – 5 PM EDT
*Runs October 14 – November 18
*This workshop will be capped at 12 participants.

*Group Ii: Saturdays / 11 AM – 1 PM EDT
*Runs October 16 – November 20
*This workshop will be capped at 12 participants.

UNRAVELING YOUR INNER CHILD led by Alisha Acquaye

For many Black femmes, our relationship to childhood is complicated and uncomfortable. Maybe misogynoir stripped our innocence from us and we weren't able to revel in our youth as much as we deserved. Maybe this is when we started to carry shame around our hair textures, our complexions or our body types. Maybe this is when we learned to suppress our sexuality or our views on gender. Maybe our parents didn't nurture and love us in the unique and essential ways that we needed. 

As adults, we recognize the youthful and vulnerable parts of yourselves that still live within us and need attention. By doing inner child work, we become our own parents—and this creates a playground for us to heal and blossom into more authentic selves living at the intersection of youth and maturity, whimsy and wisdom. As Mary J Blige said in her documentary “My Life"  while watching a teen version of herself: “That's my child right there!" 

In this workshop, I invite us to unearth our inner children and let their voices dance across the page. Through mixed media (poems, essays, cartoons and music), we'll use memory, play and creative writing to love and heal our inner children. 

This workshop is open to all who identify as Black femmes

*Fridays / 5 – 7 PM EDT
*Runs October 15 – November 19
*This workshop will be capped at 10 participants.

“MOTHER" IS ALSO A VERB led by Takiyah Jackson

moth·er | ˈmə-t͟hər (verb) 

A “mother” is most often conceived of as a person—but “to mother” is also a verb. It is what we do when we create, grow, protect, guide, and go beyond what can be defined or named. Participants in this workshop will dive into that complexity through writing. 

Writers in “Mother Is Also A Verb” will engage in a standard NYWC style workshop—being given prompts, time to generate new writing, and the opportunity to give and receive feedback. Toni Morrison once described motherhood as “the most liberating thing that ever happened to [her],” and each prompt will therefore be inspired by various matriarchs from Morrison’s novels. 

Participants are welcome to write in any genre and are not obligated to write about mothering—simply to use that theme as a creative spark

*Saturdays / 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM EDT
*Runs October 16 – November 20
*This workshop will be capped at 12 participants.